A Born Craftsman | Michel's Story

We'd like to invite you to get to know the makers behind our newest collection. Michel has been working as a leading member of our leather team for several years now.  While his trade is inherited, and his talent is indisputable, Michel also has dreams of becoming a journalist.  In order to stay true to our mission of encouraging continued education, Michel has been working a flexible schedule for the last few years to attend University to obtain a degree in Journalism.  He graduated this year, and has gladly accepted the role of part-time reporter for Deux Mains in Haiti, all while continuing to lead our Leather Team.  We are thrilled that moving forward we will be able to share such an intimate perspective from one of our team members, in their own words, and with such professionalism. This week Michel shares about his journey to craftsmanship, and his thoughts on our new TOGETHER collection:

Emmanuel MICHEL, 26 years old :  I am a young Haitian craftsman, and have been working in the leather industry since my adolescence alongside my father, who is a master of the trade. Since then, I have become a professional maker, working in a beautiful company called Deux Mains.

My father, my inspiration. Since his studio is inside our home, I have always been by my father’s side, working with him. He taught me each step, and my help became a necessary part of his craft. At the age of 17, I decided to start my first independent project.  I worked during his absence, and one day he discovered what I had accomplished on my own.  He was shocked, amazed at what I had done without his oversight.  From then on, I was inspired to continue to work in this sector, a desire which only continued to grow by customer feedback and their visible love for the durability and natural beauty of leather.WEAVING / PREFERENCE.  With leather there are a variety of techniques for crafting.  One of these techniques is weaving, which is one of my favorites! It's so spectacular and impressive, a beauty that requires mathematical calculations.  Additionally, what makes weaving what it is, is its need for sequencing. Everything is done in pairs, highlighting and alluding to the importance of togetherness. Since our newest collection is based on this harmony, the All Day Tote is my favorite piece. 

The Together Collection showcases brilliant work that requires innovation, motivation and a lot of energy.  It represents the synthesis of ideas.  While it can be stressful and even difficult sometimes, this work is the physical representation of our inspiration, in the real and palpable form of leather.  I have chosen to pour myself into these processes, because they are at the heart of our production.

I live in a country with beautiful landscapes and prolific artisanal work.  With a national motto "UNITY IS STRENGTH", we are a people living in solidarity, always sharing a smile even when things are tough, because among us love reigns. Such a beautiful environment constantly generates new inspiration for me every day, like the weaving of leather which is similar to how people in the countryside weave palm leaves.

Togetherness is the force that can unite everyone, despite their differences. Just as the human body is made up of many parts, the function of one part is not that of the other.  Thanks to their perfect harmony, however, all actions are synthesized allowing our bodies to function.  In short, togetherness is the solid foundation allowing for extraordinary things and represents the true beauty of life. 

Ansanm nou fò (Together we are strong) !!!